Posted by: Shanie Matthews | March 16, 2011

The Makings of a Hero

What makes a person a hero?

Is it a person that invokes change in society? Is it someone  — an animal even — who puts their own life on the line for someone else?  Or is a hero found in the strength of a cancer survivor?

I believe that a hero takes on the face of each and every one of us; a side to every human that will show itself if put in the right circumstances. For example, it is safe to say there are many heroes in Japan walking amongst the destruction right now.

When I asked some friends of mine their thoughts, I found their answers inspiring, uplifting, and humorous…

Ms. Stone: Heroes are people who give of themselves in times of others’ needs, without asking or thinking of themselves. Small scale or big scale – its hard to be completely selfless and risk yourself to help another human. You don’t have to be a fireman (bless you all!), you can be a regular human with a heroic heart!!!!

Mr. Montgomery: French roll, ham, salami…:) Really I believe there are millions of heroes among us, it’s just that most (99.9%) are never put the test.

Ms.Taylor: Being brave and willing to risk your life for others you may or may not know. I consider myself 3/4 hero.

Mr. Schectman: Contrary to popular belief, they don’t have to have a cape.

Ms. Shipley: I believe heroes are those that stand up for what they believe in and take a risk to do what they believe in when the majority in comparison would choose to “swim with the tide”!

Ms. Kirkbride: One who speaks up for someone who cannot do it for themselves!

Mr. Lunde: Just looked up “hero” on – there was a picture of Greg Mortenson (3 Cups of Tea)… building schools for kids (especially girls) in parts of the world where they had never been given the opportunity to learn.

Here’s the definition of a hero in the mind of an expert…

It is safe to say that heroes are a varied breed, and when the moment of bravery takes over, it isn’t always in the flash, or even when you might expect it.

Here are five of my favorite real-time heroes:

1. The engineers of Japan that saved millions of lives.

2. The global non-profit The Water School and their efficient and simple solution to providing millions with clean drinking water.

3. Kiva, a collaborative website that brings investors of all sizes together to create opportunity through small micro-loans to cash-poor people around the world.

4. Those healing from life-altering dis-ease or injury, and the people that support them.

5. SkiDUCK and their work on bringing financially-poor children into the mountains to ski and snowboard. Their work has allowed hundreds of youth access a connection to the environment that may change their lives for the better forever.

What’s your idea of hero? Have you seen one lately?


  1. that was a good read
    thank you 🙂

    • Hi Farouk! Thank you so much for your comment.

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